Category: POS Features

January 26th, 2012 by Mike Spence

People are sometimes confused by the different methods of collecting tax in SP-1.   SP-1 is capable of handling five different tax rates with in our standard (non-Canadian) version.  We then setup the taxable items in the Menu Group file.   As a reminder, Menu Groups are main categories.  For example, Coffee, Tea, Pizza, Sandwich, Beverages etc.

In the menu group, you can distinguish further by having a different taxable rates by the order type.  Each Menu Group can have a different rate for Carry Out, Dine In, Pick up and Delivery.    For example.  You might have 8.5% for carry out coffee and 9.5% for dine in coffee etc.  There is also the ability to set a Menu Group to the 0 tax rate.  That will indicate that this is a non-taxed item.  This is different than a tax exempt sale however.

Tax exempt sales happen when you sell an item that is usually taxed to a  customer that does not pay sales tax.  This is handled by creating a customer record and then setting the taxable switch for that customer to non-taxable.

Not to take this too far but we also have the ability to handle the GST / PST tax rates in Canada.   Lastly, we handle a VAT (Value Added Tax) ability and the ability to add a PIF (public improvement fee).

Any questions?  Just let us know!


Posted in Order Entry, POS Features, Reporting Tagged with: ,

January 24th, 2012 by Mike Spence

Don’t you wish you had the money to hire an assistant?  You know, that mythical person that would:

Keep track of employees.

Get your payroll ready for you.

Track labor costs.

Verify pricing on tickets and insure employees know the correct prices.

Track and look for menu items that are not selling.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a 40 hour a week assistant?  What if you could get away with paying that assistant $2.40 an hour?  Think about it – paying someone the same minimum today as they did in 1988 (Washington State rate).    What if I told you that not only can you do that but that after the first year, they will work for FREE?

Sometimes you have to think of things in different terms.   SP-1 is a fantastic POS system. It turns out it’s also makes for a pretty good coffee shop manager.

Why?  Let’s list some things that SP-1 will help you with on a daily basis:


1) With integrated time keeping, you will know what time employees clocked in and out.  Don’t forget, at the end of the payroll period, SP-1 will gather all that information and provide it to you.

2) At a moments notice, SP-1 can give you a labor cost and percent.

3) If you want,  kick it another nickel a day and SP-1 will even email you every hour of the day with sales totals, labor percent and more.

4) SP-1 will diligently  make sure your employees ring things in at the right price.

5) Don’t worry, when you need to  communicate with your staff, just tell SP-1 and all your employees will be updated.  You will even be able to see who has seen the message.

6) Theft will shrink because SP-1 only allows employees to use discounts, voids etc when they are supposed to .  Further, SP-1 will track those and let you know what happened.

7)  By the way, SP-1 will never lie to you or cheat you.

8)  SP-1 will help your staff stay on top of inventory and even help you calculate a cost of goods sold each day.

9)  SP-1 will work 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.  No vacations or sick days!

10) SP-1 will do all this without complaining !


Posted in Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with: ,

January 19th, 2012 by Mike Spence

Here are some questions that only a handful of customers ever ask.

1)  How long is my initial technical support plan good for?  A week?  Month?  Year?

2)  What is considered a “call” on technical support?  Are technical issues different than menu questions and are those different than training?  This is an important question as some companies handle menu changes differently than problem calls. Others don’t count training time as part of technical support and have a different fee for this.

3)  How many updates have you had in the last year?  Not bug fixes but updates.   This is important as a lot of companies count bug fixes as updates

4)  How many years have you  been in business?  How many of those were designing POS systems?  How long ago was this software designed?

5)  Where is your support handled?  Is it handled by the same company as development and sales?   Is it in the same building?


In order to save you time. . . Here are our answers 🙂

1)  How long is my initial technical support plan good for?  A week?  Month?  Year?

One year is included. 

2)  What is considered a “call” on technical support?  Are technical issues different than menu questions and are those different than training?

Not with us.  Tech support, problems, questions, menu changes, training are all covered under the same plan.    We have one plan that covers all of this.

3)  How many updates have you had in the last year?  Not bug fixes but updates.

Eight different updates to our software that enhance functionality.  We typically have more updates but some small features do not warrant an actual version change.

4)  How many years have you  been in business?  How many of those were designing POS systems?  How long ago was this software designed?

26 years in business.  All 26 years have been designing, devloping and selling POS systems.   This paticular 

5)  Where is your support handled?  Is it handled by the same company as development and sales?   Is it in the same building?

It’s all handled here at SelbySoft (8326 Woodland Ave E.  Puyallup WA 98371 – Stop in and say Hi!).   We have never outsourced any of our support or sales! 

Posted in POS Features

January 16th, 2012 by Mike Spence

Paper.  It’s not an exciting subject to some people but like everything, we take it pretty serious.  You would think that we could just buy paper and then resell it right?  Not exactly.

We carry:

Thermal receipt paper (in two sizes).  This is great for printing receipts.  The thermal paper  and printers are quick and quiet.  There is no ribbon needed and that reduces the moving parts as well.

Thermal sticky paper.  This paper is simular to the above but when used with the right thermal printer, has a sticky gum backing.  That makes this perfect for coffee cups and to go orders.

Non-Thermal receipt paper. (in two sizes).  This is the paper for a kitchen or food service.  This paper will not blacken with heat so it can be used around heat lamps.  The printers for this paper come with our without automatic cut as well as a red / black ribbon for distinguishing certain menu items.

Non-Thermal reciept paper in two ply.  Perfect for having one printer make two copies.  It’s a type of carbon paper that allows for a white and yellow copy in one print.

Box labels.  We carry two different kinds.  These are thermal sticky labels that are designed to  stick to boxes or bags.  Perfect for pizza and sandwiches.

Barcode labels.  We carry a line of two different labels that are great for barcodes and retail items.  These are small enough to fit most retail items but large enough to read the price and description.

So next time you think about paper, also think about the fact that SP-1 has the functionality to handle all of these different printing roles (no pun intended)!

Posted in Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with:

January 12th, 2012 by Mike Spence

PCI DSS is confusing stuff.    The fact is that as a business that processes, stores or transmits credit card data, you are required to validate your compliance with the PCI-DSS standards.

Note that I said you have to validate.  That does not mean that your data is safe!    Most stores are responsible for completing an annual Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) and a quarterly report from an Authorized Security Vendor (ASV) that you have passed a network scan.

Note that the PCI SAQ C-2 is the document that most of our customers are required to fill out.  It’s 26 pages long and considered the “shortened version”.

So, what does it say?  In short, use common sense.    There are 11 sections to the document and each has its own particular bit of verification.   NOTE, don’t take any of the following as legal advice or as the final word on how to fill out your PCI documents!

1)   Installed a firewall and have it configured properly.  Hopefully you have secured your WiFi and separated it from your POS system.

2)  Don’t use default passwords .  We won’t let you  do this in version 7.60 and above but you still need to do it with your  other passwords in Windows, your router etc.

3)  Protect cardholder data.  Make sure that your POS does not store data and insure that the credit card numbers are masked etc.  Don’t write credit card numbers down and use an integrated solution.

4)  Encrypt transmission of the card data on networks.   We encrypt the data per standards between the local nodes on the network.

5)  Use an anti-virus.  We like Microsoft Security Essentials.

6)  Develop & maintain secure systems.   Make sure you maintain your  POS with the most updated version .  Also your  Windows critical updates need to be kept up to date.

7)  Restrict access to cardholder data to people that need it. Since the cards are not stored in SP-1, this is handled.  If you write numbers down and save them, then you are opening a whole other can of worms.

8)  Assign unique ID’s to each person  with POS access.  You do have unique employee ID’s right?

9)  Restrict physical access to cardholder data.  Since we don’t store cardholder data this should be a no brainier.  If you write numbers down for some reason you need to have polices and procedures in place to insure that the data is not taken off site.   Also, they need to be destroyed and secured in store (i.e. locked) until they are destroyed.

11) Test your processes and security systems.  Make sure that you have a way to see if the network has been comprimised (hacked).   Even just USB drives plugged in, software downloaded that is not approved or a wireless devices installed can through this question.  Make sure you don’t let your POS become a home computer.    Also, you have to have an qualified internal or external party perform a quarterly scan.

12) Maintain a policy that addresses information security.    This concerns a lot of security  issues in your store.  One of the things most stores have never thought about is that you must have policies and procedures in place as far as employee electronic devices.  Yes you are supposed to have a list of which employees are allowed to have what type of electronic devices in your store!

Posted in POS Features, Technology Tagged with: , ,

January 10th, 2012 by Mike Spence

Here is a neat new tweak of a feature.   For those of you with SP-1, you know that you can use our “On-Hold” button for running tabs.  In an environment with a bar, you may run a tab for a customer and  need to go back to it often to add to the tab.

While our integrated table service system is usually the best way to handle this, there are times it is not.   If you have a bar situation where the bartender or server is dealing with customers that are not seated, then the On-Hold system works best as you can name a tab.

Recently we made a change to make this even easier.  Now, if you pull up the on-hold screen, the tickets on that screen will be highlighted if they were entered by the person who is currently logged in.

In the example below, the orders for Mike & Chris were taken by employee 9999 who is currently clocked in.



Posted in Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with: , ,

December 29th, 2011 by Mike Spence

Here is a blog from a year ago that did not make it over from our blog hosting switch over.  I thought I’d repost!

I originally wrote this blog because I have seen a number of “newer” point of sale companies posting these fantastic statistics on how much data, customer records, reporting etc they can handle.  I’ve always taken it for granted that you “over program” based on customer needs.

We originally wrote SP-1 using a C-Tree database that supports incredibly fast indexing of data files.  This allows us to be incredibly flexible when designing software.  The main programming is done in C++, .NET and Assembly for some of the routines.

To satisfy our curiosity I thought I’d check the statistics on what we can handle in our database!

Customer File and Tracking:

999,999,999 Total number of customers.  Yes just shy of one billion.

10 email addresses per customer.  Or 9 billion or  1.42 email addresses for each person on the planet.

10 phone numbers per customer.  Or 9 billion or just shy of one per every phone number possible in the U.S.

4 addresses per customer.  Or  12.8 addresses  per person in the U.S. – 314 million at last count.


How about order taking?
9,999 Total tickets per day – That is 6.94 tickets a minute for 24 hours.  Or 13.88 tickets a minute in a 12 hour day.


Menu items?  I think we have you covered. . .
9,999 Total Menu Groups.   Coffee, Pizza, Ice Cream, Smoothie, Sandwich etc.

999 Active specialty or signature items per menu group.  Examples would be Latte, Mocha, Meat lovers, Veggie etc.

999 Active modifiers per menu group.  Examples are Vanilla, pepperoni, wheat, hot, cold, extra shot etc.

99,999,999,999,999 Inventory or retail items.  (That’s Trillion with a ‘T’ and probably the only thing bigger than our national debt).

Yes – 9 million specialty and 9 million modifiers!  By the way that’s just active at any given time.


Pricing options?  Other than flat pricing of $1.00, $2.00 etc. . .  We handle 195,000 unique price tables. Each price table can be setup with 9 different prices per day of the week.   That’s 45 different prices that change based on the time and day.


Unlimited items?

Coupons, discounts, total tickets, customer history, reporting – these are all based on the size of your physical hard drive.


99,999 Total employees or one new employee added to the system every day for 273 years!

9,999 Active employees at a time.

5 Cash drawers per workstation.

30 workstations per store.


Other statistics?

We have been selling POS for over 25 years.

We have stores that have been using our products for over 20 years continuously!

Updates?  SP-1 has gone through over 87 version releases (free when you are on support) and over 500 minor program revisions since 1994.

Stability?  Over 6 of our employees have worked for us over 10 years.  Total combined SP-1 experience through Customer Service & Tech Support  is over 80 years!

Posted in Order Entry, POS Features, Technology Tagged with:

December 27th, 2011 by Mike Spence

Order confirmation monitors are becoming more and more popular with our customers that are looking to up grade that old pole display into something more effective and exciting.

OCM is fast becoming the way to promote your products from the counter top.  With a 9″ or 17″ monitor, this system allows you to promote your products through a slide show of pictures  while the customer is thinking about their order. 


Once the customer starts to place their order, the screen changes to show them, clearly, what the employee is entering.  This way you have a very exact understanding that the customer will get what they ordered.  Further, the side of the screen will still show three up-sell pictures and a scrolling message.








This is a great way to help cut theft as well  as the customer knows what the change should be.


Posted in Marketing, Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with: , ,

December 22nd, 2011 by Mike Spence

Ok, maybe just cool to us.  I know most people don’t give a second thought to the cash drawer that the POS system is using.  That’s where we are a little different.    We know that every  piece of equipment that goes into a store has to work properly.

So what makes the cash drawers cool?   Let’s start with the technology side of things. . .

These drawers are all steel construction and not plastic or aluminum.  The drawers are solid.  You are not opening this one by smacking it on top ala Fonzie.   Additionally, they have a three position key lock that can be set for manual open, electronic open or locked.   These drawers do not have the cheesy button on the bottom that opens the drawer without a key either.    The cables are routed from the bottom and not the back.

These drawers have a number of options available and come in two sizes.    Media slots are available so you can place credit card slips in the drawer without having to open it.  Additionally, there are extra inserts and locking lids available!

So, what about the software side of things?  This is where we try to cover all the bases.   The cash drawers are setup to only open electronically through SP-1.  This insures that the drawer is only open  when it is supposed to be.  If you need multiple drawers, each station can have up to five that open independently.  I know that’s a lot of cash drawers but we always like to over design.  Typically a store will use two at a time so they can have the employees accountable for cash.     Finally you can assign specific drawers to  an employee so there is no question as to where the cash shortage came from.


Posted in Hardware, POS Features Tagged with:

November 22nd, 2011 by Mike Spence

This blog was inspired by a discussion that our training staff had with one of our local customers.  The store brought a new manager in and wanted to get them familiar with SP-1.  In the middle of the training it was discovered that the store had some outstanding account balances and it was apparent that some of the staff was confused by the differences in gift cards, customer accounts, account payment and running a tab.

Let’s start with Gift Cards . . .  In our system, a gift card is really a “cash card”.  You put money on it and take money off it.  It’s really that simple.

So what’s a customer account or profile?  Well, they are really two different things.   Once you create a “customer profile” you have opened a powerful set of options.   You can now assign that persons cash (or gift) card to their customer name.  Keep in mind that this is just a way to identify a person.  If you then pull up that persons profile by name, card or phone number, you will be able to see their last order (and every order previous).  This is a great way to increase your speed of service as a large percentage of people order the same item every time.

If you have a customer profile created, you can choose to activate customer accounts.  Accounts are similar to gift cards in some ways but there are key differences.  An account is basically allowing a customer to run an extended tab.  If a business orders $100 worth of product from you once a week, you may choose to bill them for the product – this is a good use of a tab.  It is possible to run a negative tab, where the store owes the customer money.  This is a good use for bartering etc.

Finally, there is another method of tabs. If you place a ticket “On Hold”, then the order is not paid for.  This does not require a customer name or information.   This method of running a tab is only intended for same day payment.  If you are running a tab over multiple days you would use the accounts method.

Posted in Gift Cards, Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with: , ,